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The silky anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) is the world’s smallest anteater species and is little bigger than a human hand. It is rarely seen due to its small size and its nocturnal (or night-active) and arboreal lifestyle, and it is even seldom encountered by forest tribes. It has a prehensile tail and long claws for climbing and tearing open ant’s nests. Its long tongue is equipped with small spikes and mucus and is perfect for gathering up ants and termites. The silky anteater may consume up to 5,000 ants a day. It has a preference for residing in the silk-cotton tree because the silky fibres of the seedpods resemble its coat and may act to camouflage it from predators.

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